10-02-2023  10:00 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 02 May 2023

On April 23, 21 students from 11 high schools competed for the title of Grand Slam Champion at the annual Verselandia! Youth Poetry Slam Championship, sponsored by Literary Arts.

The top five poets were: in 5th place, Imanuel Rehana of Parkrose High School; in 4th place, Dani Gollier of Grant High School; in 3rd place, Princess Fletcher of McDaniel High School; in 2nd place, Bena Rodecap of Grant High School; and the 2023 Verselandia! Grand Slam Champion is Kennedy Phillips of Parkrose High School. This was Kennedy’s first slam poetry competition and the only poet of the night to score a perfect 10 from one of the judges.

Verselandia! is a celebration of Portland’s youth poets: a Grand Slam competition for winners of individual poetry slams held throughout the year by area public high school librarians. The championship event was held at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and was hosted by Oregon Poet Laureate Anis Mojgani. This year’s judges were Portland business lawyer and non-profit leader Gustavo (Tavo) Gustavo J. Cruz Jr.; choreographer, arts advocate, and former Creative Laureate of Portland Subashini Ganesan; poet, professional teaching artist and somatic therapist Mindy Nettifee; author and poetry slam champion Jae Nichelle; and Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and composer Esperanza Spalding

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